Roundup: Pivot Ministries, Ed Capasse’s Clarinet, Paul Newman’s Cars …

Today dawned gloriously.

And the weekly Sunday morning Compo Beach service — sponsored by several local churches — welcomed back the Pivot Ministries.

Their special brand of song and testimony got the day off to a glorious start, for a large group of worshipers. Today’s service was hosted by the United Methodist Church. (Hat tip: Gloria Smithson)

Pivot Ministries, at Compo Beach this morning. (Photo/Karen Como)

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Yesterday’s story about Ed Capasse, and his appearance as a Staples High School marching band trumpeter on a 1946 Saturday Evening Post cover drawn by Stevan Dohanos, drew several great comments.

It also drew a fascinating note from Dave Matlow.

The longtime Westport photographer says that once, in Capasse’s law office, they discussed a replica of the painting, which hung on the wall.

Capasse told Matlow that he did not actually play the trumpet. He was a clarinetist. But Dohanos thought a clarinet was too hard or time-consuming to draw — so Capasse ended up with the brass instrument.

Now, can anyone answer this question: How did Capasse play in the marching band and on the football team, simultaneously?

Ed Capasse, in the 1948 Staples High School yearbook.

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Speaking of music:

The 3-day Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition ended last night, with an awards ceremony at MoCA Westport.

And the winner of the $10,000 grand prize is …

… Russian-born Artem Kuznetsov.

The other 3 finalists — selected through a worldwide audition — earned $2,500 each.

Directed by noted Westport native Alexander Platt, the competition is in its 50th year. It includes master classes, lectures,  and performances. The jury chair was internationally famed — and Westport resident Frederic Chiu.

A celebration of the Heida, featuring alumni finalists, is set for November 19 at MoCA Westport. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Alexander Platt (far left) with 2022 Heida Hermanns finalists (from left): Nathan Cheung, Katharine Bensen, Aaron Kurz and winner Artem Kuznetsov.

Meanwhile, when the competition was over, a young pianist — perhaps a future Heida Hermanns Competition winner — tried out MoCA’s magnificent Steinway.

(Photos/Leslie LaSala)

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The original home at 2 Owenoke Park dates back to 1910.

But this is hardly a beach shack. The 4,400-square foot 2-story colonial sprawls so widely, I could not fit it all into one camera shot.

(Photos/Dan Woog)

It’s a fine-looking home. But enjoy it while you can.

Because, yes, that’s a “Demolition” sign plastered on the first floor, in between some of the many windows.

The property sold for $3,112,500 in June. The new owners plan a new home, with a pool.

Here’s the FEMA-compliant look:

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Lisa Seidenberg writes:

“Friday’s knife attack on author Salmon Rushdie brought some thoughts to mind.

“One is that, while violence has become an unfortunate norm in our country, it  seems so incomprehensible and despicable that physical violence is inflicted on a writer. The ‘fatwa’ or death decree issued by the Ayatollah Khomeini was in 1989 — long before the perpetrator was born. That books and cartoons and art should inflame self-appointed religious zealots to violence is beyond disturbing.

“I  recall hearing Rushdie speak at Staples High School in 2015. It was memorable for the intense security surrounding the event. One passed through a checkpoint like at an airport. Purses were inspected. Backpacks were not allowed at all into the building, presumably to stop a makeshift bomb. Some parents objected, but in the end, it was great exercise in free speech and example to students.

“The Westport speech was riveting. Rushdie was well-spoken and erudite, and had a surprisingly sharp and witty sense of humor. He is a product of upper echelon British schools, and his language reflected that.

“In retrospect, I am thankful that so much security was in place in Westport. Sadly, protection must be provided, not only for politicians but for artists and writers who speak bravely.

For more on Rushdie’s Westport appearance, click here.

Salman Rushdie/© Beowulf Sheehan http://www.beowulfsheehan.com

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Bonus feature! Remarkable Theater has just added a special film.

“Minions” will be shown at the Imperial Avenue drive-in tomorrow (Monday, August 15, 8 p.m.; gates open at 7 for tailgating).

“Girls Trip” follows on Wednesday (August 17; 8:15 start, 7:15 gate).

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Magnus and Lavinia Larsson are Food Rescuers.

Yes, it’s capitalized. Food Rescue US is an app that actually makes you want to look at your phone.

The idea is spectacularly simple. Food services — grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, companies — register. When they have extra food — at the end of the day, after an event, whatever — they post it online.

Individuals register too. They check the app when it’s convenient. If they see someplace nearby, they agree to pick it up.

Then they deliver it to social service agencies — soup kitchens, shelters, veterans facilities, etc. — that have also registered with Food Rescue US.

Magnus reminds “06880” readers: “There are lots of people less fortunate, and also lots of food waste. Yesterday, Lavinia and I brought generous donations from Whole Foods (thanks, Siobhan!) to an agency in Bridgeport. They’ll distribute it in the community.”

To learn more, click here.

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Most of the Paul Newman news this year has been about “The Last Movie Stars”: the HBO 6-part series on the longtime Westport actor and his wife, Joanne Woodward.

This one is about his cars.

When he got into auto racing, Newman was as successful as with acting (and, later, philanthropy). He and Carl Haas formed a team with drivers like Mario and Michael Andretti. They racked up 108 Indycar wins,

In October, those cars — and other Newman/Haas items — will be auctioned off in 78 lots, by RM Sotheby’s. Click here for details.

During the 1960s and ’70s though — when hitchhiking around town was a thing — countless Westporters knew Paul Newman as the driver who would always pick them up.

His car back then was a Volvo or VW. “Hop in, son!” he’d say.

And off we went.

(Hat tip: Chris Grimm)

Pual Newman (left) with his friend, the late Westporter Michael Brockman.

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This is a laugh: Save the date (October 15).

Homes with Hope’s 15th annual Stand Up event — a comedy fundraiser for the multi-service housing and food provider — is set for Fairfield University’s Quick Center. It’s the first time live since COVID struck.

The headliner is Pat McGann. He’s a veteran of Madison Square Garden, David Letterman and Stephen Colbert.

Ticket details will be available soon.

Pat McGann

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Longtime Westport dentist Dr. Victor Oliver died earlier this year. He was 83.

He graduated from Providence College, then studied dentistry at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He served as a dentist in the Air Force in Albany, Georgia for two years.

Following his service, Victor and his wife Pauline settled in Westport. He opened a home dental office in 1968, and practiced there for 50 years.

Victor was an avid tennis player. He and Polly loved vacationing in Florida, and weekend trips to Nantucket. His family says, “He will be remembered for his gentle dental care and his dedication to his patients. He was a kind and generous man who always made time to help anyone in need. He was known for being a quiet reserved man — unless you were sitting in his dental chair, where he was the most talkative, trying to make you at ease.”

Victor is survived by his wife of 59 years Pauline; daughters Kimberly (Jim) Vallieres of West Hartford, and Robin (Sean) Ross of Holly Springs, North Carolina, and grandchildren Sean Heintz, Emma Heintz, Olivia Heintz and her fiancé Jonathan Davis, Audrey Ross and Jack Ross.

Donations in Victor’s name came be made to the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra, PO Box 370036, West Hartford, CT 06137, where for many years he enjoyed watching his daughter Kim play violin.

Dr. Victor Oliver

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Many “Westport … Naturally” photos show living things that fly, buzz, bite, crawl, bark, meow or do similar things.

Some show blooms and buds.

This one just sits there. It’s majestic — and often overlooked. But it’s an anchor of downtown, and as much a part of our natural world as any other creature or plant.

(Photo/Tom Lowrie)

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And finally … Bill Pitman died earlier this week, in California. He was 102.

You don’t know his name. But you know his music.

For decades, he was a session musician. As part of the Wrecking Crew — a “loosely organized corps of peerless Los Angeles freelancers who were in constant demand by record producers to back up headline performers … (an ensemble that )turned routine recording sessions and live performances into extraordinary musical moments” — he backed up the Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Monkees, Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, Ricky Nelson, Jan and Dean, Johnny Rivers, the Byrds, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, the Everly Brothers, Peggy Lee and “nearly every prominent performer of the era.”

Pitman’s work ranged from “Strangers in the Night” and “The Way We Were” to “Be My Baby,” “Good Vibrations” and “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.”

He also worked on TV and film scores, cartoon soundtracks — you name it.

Click here for Bill Pitman’s very intriguing obituary.

8 responses to “Roundup: Pivot Ministries, Ed Capasse’s Clarinet, Paul Newman’s Cars …

  1. 2 Owenoke was my house in the 80s-90s. I brought up my 2 kids there and after a storm in 93-94, I raised it (not razed!), adding the porches, turret, room at far end and room over the garage. Recently the new builder gave me a final tour; I was so sad as I blessed each room and memories raced through my mind.

    • Yes it’s sad to tear down something so relatively new and with memories so fresh. Too bad, also, that the replacement house is of the faddish Modern Farmhouse genre which I think is already approaching its sell-by-date. I suspect that it, too, will be torn down (or at least extensively remodeled) 20 years down the road.

  2. 
    Dr. Oliver was my dentist from 1968 to 2017, even when I lived in Florida and Maryland. He was so good, I’d come north for an appointment. In 1970, at Basic Training at Fort Dix, like all other recruits, an Army dentist checked your teeth. When it came my turn, the dentist remarked that the dental work I had was excellent. Sometime in the early or mid 1990s, I had a toothache. I remember it was a Sunday and I took a ride by Dr. Oliver’s house and he was trimming some bushes in his front yard. I pulled in the driveway and interrupted him and told him my tooth was bothering me. He told me to go around the back of his house where his office was and let me in. He washed his hands, and did some dental work on the spot. Seriously, what dentist would do something like this? The only one was Dr. Oliver, the best dentist in the world. That’s why I’d travel 1,300 miles north for a dental appointment! I just can’t find another Dr. Oliver.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      How funny. When I grew up in Westport, our family dentist was an army buddy of my father’s. Years later, the dentist I’ve seen out here in Ohio for the last 20 years asked me if I’d had all my dental work done in the army.

  3. pETER gAMBACCINI

    yOU CONTINUE TO DO AN AMAZING JOB

  4. Dan you are too kind to our family but full disclosure that picture of the magnificent Jesup Green tree was taken by my dad Tom. However as a proud member of the town Tree Board, I can add that our group takes special pride in preserving such an epic specimen that will be there for future folks to enjoy. Thanks again.

  5. Paul drove a 1968 powder blue VW beetle convertible Wolfsburg Edition that it was rumored he dropped in a Porsche engine for fun.
    Great and surprising sound‼️

    • Right on the money Tom! We used to stop him regularly on Easton Rd. (radar) in that car . And yes it most certainly had a Porsche engine in it. Such a good guy and such a nice era in this town.

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